ATLANTA, GA / ACCESSWIRE / August 28, 2020 / Preparedness and active leadership have always been key objectives for Deepak "Dee" Agarwal, entrepreneur, founder, and former CEO of online retail giant NoMoreRack.com. With a career dedicated to providing services and goods to customers around the world, Deepak has learned a thing or two about navigating unsettling, uncomfortable and uncertain situations.
In times of uncertainty, Dee argues that teams often look to leaders for guidance, but that this doesn't always translate into taking on a single, clear course of action. Therefore, listening and adapting is critical, and to do so successfully is a testament to truly effective leadership.
"As a leader, you feel like all eyes are on you, and everyone on your team is waiting for your answers and guidance," says Deepak.
Deepak Agarwal shares three practical ways in which executives can empower their teams and lead their company through turbulent times:
Acknowledge What is Outside of Your Control
Uncertainty is usually related to a feeling of disappointment caused by a dissonance between reality and expectation. When carefully-made plans are met with obstacles or dead ends, trying to manipulate the situation to control the outcome is a common, yet often unsuccessful response. It is critical to be prepared to respond with a thoughtful, planned approach rather than being poised for blind action.
"Some situations require leadership to pause," says Dee Agarwal. "Sometimes the right action is not immediate action, but planned and thoughtful execution when the time is right."
When executives don't allow themselves and their companies to grieve disappointment, they often find themselves immobilized by their thoughts and thinking too narrowly to see opportunities to bounce back.
Deepak notes that "by focusing too much on creating an immediate solution to the crisis, leaders often lose sight of what's most important in these uncertain times: to be there for the people who need us most."
While the future can't be controlled, Deepak Agarwal suggests that leaders are more able to inspire the people they work with when they are more present, available, and relatable.
Leaders don't always have the answers to everything; however, introspective thinking is often the first step to catalyze action. As a leader, Deepak Agarwal suggests asking yourself, "Where can I focus my attention?" "What is the first step?" "Where is there the greatest need for immediate impact?"
Leaders have a natural tendency to try to optimize for big impact, but during a crisis, it is the smaller, more thoughtful and deliberate actions that can drive the greatest outcome.
Leaders are the primary decision-makers at these critical turning points in times of crisis. Therefore, they must be level-headed, encouraging, exacting, and dedicate their time to find that first solution that will get their team across the finish line.
Keep Your Values Front and Center
When encountering times of uncertainty, leaders must show a willingness to listen and learn, focus on the good of the moment, and provide the tools needed to empower the people around them. This can best be accomplished through three key behaviors:
- Show your humanity - Don't be afraid to show vulnerability by asking questions and maintaining a level of transparency amongst your team.
- Celebrate small victories - The more your team feels that they are making progress, the more likely morale will rise and motivation will flourish.
- Create a space for open conversations - Allow people to take some time to engage in conversations that show empathy and don't necessarily impact the bottom line.
While volatility and uncertainty might make everyone feel like they are walking on a tightrope, the most effective leaders are able to move beyond operating from a place of fear and focus on figuring out what their team needs, and how to empower them to motivate, support, and inspire each other.
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SOURCE: Deepak Agarwal